Sokyo at The Star

June 27, 2015

We finally made a booking to try Sokyo which is located in The Star at Pyrmont. Sokyo is considered expensive but I believe the quality of the food is excellent and you can leave feeling quite full without spending as much as on a degustation at any other fine dining restaurant. I am planning my next visit to Sokyo as it is truly a gem of a Japanese restaurant in Sydney. Now onto the food.

Maguro Tataki $29
I couldn't help but silently stare in awe at how gorgeous the presentation was as it was placed on our table. Honestly, it looked too pretty to eat! Tuna would have to be one of the fish I quite enjoy eating raw and when it is seared, well that makes it even better. The tuna was incredibly soft in texture and I loved how the searing brought out a lovely smokiness to the fish and added flavour. The intricately plated salad was refreshing and really helped to cut the density and rich flavour of the tuna.

Kurobuta Pork Belly $7 each
Sokyo has a "Robata" menu selection, robata meaning food on skewers that is grilled. We opted for the pork belly because we love that fatty goodness and these bad boys did not disappoint. The pork was just how I imagined, extremely juicy, tender and flavoursome which was attributed to the mustard aioli and sansho (a Japanese pepper) marinade. The succulent meat was alternated with daikon (radish) and helped me feel a little less guilty indulging in the pork belly.

Red Snapper $19
The tempura was so light and so crunchy, it was amazing and paired well with the zesty dipping sauce.

DengakuMan $39
One of the best dishes of the night. The caramelised miso cod was to die for. The slightly burnt sweetness along with the tenderness of the fish was so amazing. Each mouthful was magic and left me wanting more. I would love to eat fish like this every single day. I really appreciated the addition of the cucumber salad and the Japanese salsa to balance the star of the dish but it wouldn't hurt to have more cod.

Wagyu +9 Tenderloin $58
The tenderloin was cooked perfectly. While I wouldn't describe it as melt in your mouth it was delicious nonetheless because it was so juicy and flavourful. The grilled pumpkin was a unique touch as opposed to the traditional potato mash and added a lovely sweetness to the overall dish. The puree  aptly named as "wasabi butter" had a hint of wasabi which added a good kick and wasn't overpowering at all. The shio kombu jus provided a lovely savoury element to the dish.

Salmon Belly Nigiri $6 a piece
We couldn't leave Sokyo without trying their nigiri. DT was very excited to try their Chu-Toro nigiri however they ran out that night so we decided on the salmon belly instead. The salmon was so vibrant in colour and tasted very fresh. At $6 a piece it is pricey, however you can taste the difference.

Tuna Crispy Rice $20
This sounded so good on the menu but it was somewhat of a let down. Mainly because it wasn't the kind of crispy I was expecting. If the texture of the fried component was lighter and easier to bite through it would have been perfect but I found it to be a little hard and heavy to eat. The tuna itself was lovely and fresh and the spicy mayo made it especially delicious. The rice used was a special kind from Hokkaido branded as "Yumepirika" which I thought was interesting.

Chef's Dessert Sampler $26
Please excuse the horrible photo. By the time we got to dessert the restaurant was significantly dimmer hence the not so nice photo. This is the second time I've had the sampler and I enjoyed it just as much as the first. Starting from the top left we have Yamazaki Caramel Macchiato which consisted of coffee ice cream, cocoa nibs and whisky foam. Wait. Whisky foam? As strange as it sounds this dessert was so good. I love coffee-flavoured ice cream so it was a hit with me and the whisky foam was alcoholic yet sweet. Top right we have Yuzu Souffle which consisted of passionfruit jelly and creme fraiche ice cream. A lovely creamy dessert but not overly creamy due to the layer of jelly nestled at the bottom. The tartness of the yuzu and the passionfruit melded well with the creme fraiche ice cream. Bottom left we have Sokyo "Mochi Ice Cream", consisting of yatsuhashi kyoto mochi, and frozen strawberry milkshake. The texture of the mochi was so delicate that chewing it was almost effortless. The frozen strawberry milkshake filling was perfect, it was sweet and tart, neither overpowering the other. Finally we have Goma Street consisting of caramelised white chocolate and sesame ice cream. Sadly, the photo doesn't do it any justice. The sesame ice cream was distinct in its nuttiness and all the textures worked well together to make it very enjoyable.

I found the service to be acceptable for this type of restaurant, we were seated without much delay and ordered our food with no trouble. The food came out at a good pace as well. We also scored free parking for dining there and spending over a certain amount but they no longer seem to offer that which is unfortunate.

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